Monday, July 10, 2017

Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan

Ok, confession. I loved this book. It is a story which is very violent at times (which I always struggle to introduce to my students) but is a great story, strong characters and still has such a strong message, revealing a nasty part of our world to people in an accessible way-no preaching. It is the story of Amadou and his little brother who end up at a cacao farm in the Ivory Coast in Africa. They are forced to work there under pretty brutal circumstances and have resigned themselves to work. Amadou is just worried about surviving day to day and keeping his little brother safe. And then the wildcat arrives. She is a girl who seems as though she had been wealthy (there are NO girls there at all) and is willing to fight anything and anyone even though she is constantly beaten and then restrained. She and Amadou eventually become uneasy friends and their lives and future are forever intertwined. Grades 6-8 (violence)